Well, I guess the Carlos Quentin talk picked up again.
Just days after it was reported talks between the Padres and White Sox about Quentin have soured, Chicago dealt the veteran outfielder to San Diego for two pitching prospects.
It seems a bit odd coming on the coattails of that news and announcing the deal on the last day of 2011, but 2012 can start anew for both franchises as well as the slugger.
The White Sox receive right-hander Simon Castro and left-hander Pedro Hernandez in return. Neither pitcher made Baseball America's Top 10 Padres prospect list, but Castro was the organization's third-ranked prospect just a year before.
Kenny Williams used the word "rebuilding" when discussing the offseason plans for his team and as WhiteSoxTalk's JJ Stankevitz mentioned earlier this week, it's hard to call it a rebuild if Quentin, the franchise's most expendable player, is not dealt.
The 29-year-old outfielder was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season.
Castro, who will turn 24 April 9, split time last season between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 5.63 ERA and 1.44 WHIP spanning 22 starts. In his six starts at Triple-A Tucson, however, the Dominican Republic native struggled badly to the tune of a 10.17 ERA and 2.14 WHIP. He was rated the 57th best prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season and the 58th best prospect before 2011 got under way.
Hernandez, 22, also struggled at Triple-A last season, posting a 6.00 ERA and 1.89 WHIP. But, he excelled in High-A and Double-A earlier in the season, making 24 appearances (14 starts). The Venezuelan native boasts a 8.0 K9 ratio throughout his minor league career, during which he has bounced around between being a starter and a reliever.
Quentin hails from San Diego and will add a middle-of-the-order presence to a team sorely lacking in that area since trading away Adrian Gonzalez before the start of the 2011 season.
Josh Byrnes, who took over as the Padres' GM after Jed Hoyer left for the Cubs, was in the same position in Arizona when he traded Quentin to the White Sox from the Diamondbacks.